Woman Breaks Neck in Hammock Accident

MINNEAPOLIS, Min. (CBS) – A Minnesota woman says she is lucky to be alive after a freak accident left her nearly paralyzed.

Alyssa Pfannenstein was sitting in a hammock with her boyfriend Justin Janssen over Labor Day weekend, when one of the 15-foot birch trees it was attached to fell down on top of her.

Watching her 4-year-old daughter play in a park near Bemidji, Pfannenstein and Janssen set up their hammock between two large birch trees. They had no idea one tree was rotten from the inside.

Pfannenstein said she heard this big boom before she got hit in the back of the head.

According to her boyfriend Justin Janssen, everything happened so quickly that there was no time to panic.

Pfannenstein’s neck was broken and she found herself unable to move. Despite the situation she was in, Janssen said Alyssa still found the strength to comfort him daughter, Abiliene.

From her hospital bed the 25-year-old said she’s grateful it was her and not her daughter in the accident. Phannenstein said there’s was no way her daughter would have lived through it.

Pfannenstein’s attitude hasn’t changed over the last 12 days at Hennepin County Medical Center. And it’s that positive attitude doctors attribute to Alyssa making major progress. She is able to feel touch and praying she will make a full recovery.

Pfannenstein will soon enter a rehab facility to work on regaining mobility and strength.

The family has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her ongoing medical expenses.

It can be hard to spot a rotten tree. Some signs are branches with no leaves, damaged roots or fungus.

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